US farmers unite against GMO labelling

2014-02-07 21:26


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Washington - US farmers have joined the food industry to launch a united front against labelling of genetically modified products, amid mounting consumer pressure.

More than half of US states introduced bills aimed at requiring GMO labelling last year, in a country where 80% of the food contains ingredients that were made with genetically modified organisms.

While only two states have passed such measures, and none have yet implemented any labelling requirements, farmers are concerned about the prospect.

"If each state had a different label requirement, our farmers just couldn't adapt to that and really economically grow safe, affordable food," said Ray Gaesser, president of the American Soybean Association, which represents 600 000 US farmers.

Labelling laws

Gaesser estimated that any new state-by-state labelling laws would hike prices 15 to 30%.

Stressing the lack of scientific evidence that GMOs cause harm, Gaesser joined corn farmers, bakers, restaurants, fisheries, animal feed and grocery store groups in forming the 30-member Coalition for Safe Affordable Food.

The umbrella group aims to "avoid unnecessary and confusing 50-state patchwork of GMO labelling laws," said Pamela Bailey, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

Read more on:    us  |  environment  |  genetics

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